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Students at Lumberg Elementary School in Jefferson County work on their assigned iPads during a class project. Photo by Nicholas Garcia

File photo of students at Lumberg Elementary School in Jeffco Public Schools.

Nicholas Garcia / Chalkbeat

In Jeffco school board race, union favorites raising more money than challengers

As campaign finance reports roll in a month before the election, big gaps already have appeared among Jeffco’s school board candidates.

Four candidates are running for two open seats to replace board members Amanda Stevens and Ali Lasell who are choosing not to run for re-election.

Two of the candidates, Stephanie Schooley for District 3, and Joan Chávez-Lee for District 4, have been endorsed by the teachers union and have each received $10,000 from that group’s small donor committee.

Their two competitors, Robert Applegate challenging Schooley and Susan Miller challenging Chávez-Lee, have raised much less money with no large contributions reported. Applegate did receive a $100 contribution from Luke Ragland, the president of Ready Colorado, a conservative education advocacy group. Miller received $200 from Don Ytterberg, former chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party.

Three conservative board members were recalled from the Jefferson County school board in 2015, and the union-backed board that replaced them has been in place since. In 2017, the school board election didn’t garner much attention and three incumbents who raised thousands won easily.

Read more about the race here. And check out Chalkbeat’s tracker below to see how much each candidate has raised and spent, as of the last reports filed Monday.